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Thermodynamic analysis of methanation of palm empty fruit bunch (PEFB) pyrolysis oil with and without in situ CO2 sorption

Energy Research Institute, School of Chemical and Process Engineering, The University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Special Issues: Renewable energy systems and agro-residue management

Thermodynamic equilibrium analysis for conversion of palm empty fruit bunch (PEFB) bio-oil to methane using low-temperature steam reforming (LTSR) process was conducted by assuming either isothermal or adiabatic condition, with and without sorption enhancement (SE-LTSR), with CaO(S) or Ca(OH)2(S) as CO2 sorbent. Temperatures of 300-800 K, molar steam to carbon (S/C) ratios of 0.3-7.0, pressures of 1-30 atm and molar calcium to carbon ratios (Ca:C) of 0.3-1.0 were simulated. For reasons of process simplicity, the best conditions for CH4 production were observed for the adiabatic LTSR process without sorption at S/C between 2.5 and 3 (compared to the stoichiometric S/C of 0.375), inlet temperature above 450 K, resulting in reformer temperature of 582 K, where close to the theoretical maximum CH4 yield of 38 wt % of the simulated dry PEFB oil was obtained, resulting in a reformate consisting of 44.5 vol % CH4, 42.7 vol % CO2 and 12.7 vol % H2 and requiring only moderate heating mainly to partially preheat the reactants. Temperatures and S/C below these resulted in high risk of carbon by-product.
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